Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

O tells me that JimmyG is not given homework at CBA.

ME: How can that be?

O: CBA is a “fake” school.

ME: What about Maginn?

O: Maginn is a “joke” school.


In blogs:

. . . A civilization may be wrecked without any spectacular crimes or criminals but by constant petty breaches of faith and minor complicities on the part of men generally considered very nice people. . . . If all men had only what we consider a reasonable degree of cupidity, politics would still be driven into dialectical jams—into predicaments and dilemmas which the intellect has never mastered. . . .
—Herbert Butterfield, Christianity and History, quoted by Caryl Johnston, Post-Thanksgiving, 2005

These are strange times. It is passing strange to hear a self-styled exponent of conservatism [Laura Ingraham] argue that one’s own whimsical, often frivolous amusements should be exported to others with crusading zeal; for the conservative believes in moral freedom, which is not a right of a gift but an existential fact, and also in the constant inclination of every human being to debase that freedom. It is positively bizarre to hear an orthodox Jewish male several years my senior [Dennis Prager], who is paid thousands of dollars whenever he delivers an hour’s lecture on “conservatism”, declare that he cannot so much as understand why anyone would deplore the sell-out of our neighborhoods and our economy to the automobile.
—John R. Harris, On the Discomforts of Being Right, or What is Conservatism Conserving These Days?


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
—Luke 17:17

We who hope that many are saved pray that many will turn, and glorify God, and give you thanks.

Mass at the St. Joseph Provincial House, dinner at home with Dot, Mark, and Jude. O held her own in Scrabble.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

MENE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL: Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES: Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
—Daniel 5:26–28

It will happen when it will happen.


Bis dimitto si cito dimitto.

Catholics scorn therapeutic religion, but that is what Orthodox religion is. Of course, the Catholics and the Orthodox intend different connotations, but one must not use the word like a stick.

I think it wonderfully incarnate that when we speak of God the Almighty is subject to grammar, and that when He speaks to us He speaks grammatically.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It is the tradition of some Orthodox churches and monasteries to have a rite of mutual forgiveness akin to that on the Sunday of Forgiveness at each Eucharistic service, right before the distribution of the gifts of consecrated bread and wine, with each communicant going to the centre of the temple and bowing to the assembled faithful, humbly asking their forgiveness.
—Rev. Deacon Geoffrey Ready, 'Love Is Granted from Heaven': Forgiveness in the Orthodox Christian Tradition

This, rather than the “Sign of Peace” would be more appropriate where the sign of peace now is in the Mass. But there are apparently different meanings to this sign. See Thomas J. Reese, S.J., In the Catholic Church, a Kiss is Never Just a Kiss (a superficial discussion).

The Mass is not a work of art, but it would be good if someone competent wrote on “The Mass as a Work of Art.”


Mark here from Syracuse to share Thanksgiving with us.

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Spengler on Franz Rosenzweig.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Feast of Christ the King, Sunday, November 20, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.

I am not to care if my neighbor forgives me as long as I forgive him. It is the Father’s forgiveness that I seek.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday, November 18. 2005

All the people were very attentive to hear him.
—Luke 19:48

Your thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your ways our ways, but your words are our words.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
—Luke 19:41

We are able to worship you in the city. Grant that we be not forced into the desert to know the things that belong unto our peace.

. . . but now they are hid from thine eyes.
—Luke 19:42

Things are not expressed in a way that enable us to think fruitfully about them.

Most of the Mass is addressed to the Father. However great the body of Christ, the Father is greater than the Son.


Spengler, Why Western governments fall apart.

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Went up to the Cathedral’s organ loft to look at our non-working pipe organ. The choir had a very nice view of the sanctuary.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cathedral Pastoral Advisory Council Meeting. I still have not seen anything that we have done that benefits the parish, unless “discernment” becomes a beneficial part of parish life.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
—Luke 18:41

I think that many have asked and not received, at least in the obvious way of the blind man. Lord, that I may receive my sight. Lord, that I may conceive. Lord, that I may get a promotion. Lord, that I may win the lottery. Lord, that I may be cured of my illness. Lord, that my home may survive the storm. Lord, . . . . Was it their lack of faith that prevented their receiving what they asked of you? Did you ever tell a blind man: “You shall not receive your sight: your being blind shall save you”? or: “You would see if you believed”? Why have you abandoned us? For the Holy Spirit does not speak either. Have you decided that we shall be like the Jews in Maccabees, and suffer terrible affliction? When will all the people again see your power, and give praise unto God?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The 153rd Anniversary of the Dedication of our Cathedral.

I think that it is better for the (main) organ and the choir to be behind the congregation and facing the altar, rather to be behind or with the priest and facing the congregation. They would then be supportive of the congregation, and the choir would not be visually distracting.

People who signed up for ministries on “Sign-up Sunday” have still not been gotten in touch with. What does this tell them about the sincerity of the now obligatory assertions that the people are the real church, the body of Christ, and each of us important members?

After Mass we had cookies in the cathedral and then drove down 9J for a nice brunch at the Riverview Cafe in Stuyvesant.


Have you ever had the intuition that something at Mass was missing? Does the divergence between what the Church says Mass is, and how ministers act today, ever leave your faith shaken? Ever wonder why so many in the church think this way? And why even some church authorities ignore the existence of a problem? Are you perplexed that so many of those in charge of liturgy today seem to think that the holiness of God is unimportant? And have you ever wanted to know what the historical causes of this crisis might be?
Notes of a Thirsty Scribe, in the blog post The Mass and Modernity—An evening at Toronto’s Oratory concerning the book The Mass and Modernity by Father Jonathan Robinson.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Jesus did not restore original innocence. He wore clothes and spoke in a language that was not Adam’s.


Boston Brass concert at the Cathedral. Dot attended with us and is staying for an overnight.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lieber Leo,

heute feierst Du Deinen Namenstag. Ich sende Dir gute wuensche und Gottes Segen. Die heilige Messe feier ich heute fuer Dich und Mary und Olivia.

Mir geht es gut!

Herzliche Gruesse,
Dein Bruder Barnabas


Attended the first meeting of the committee that will recommend a new organ for the Cathedral. Our report is due in March 2006.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

And [Jesus] said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up (Psalm 69:9).
—John 2:16–17

A Catholic church is first a temple and second a synagogue. Otherwise it would be first a meeting place and second the house of God. The church sign that says, “The Worshipping Community of ... Welcomes You”, should rather say, “Here Is God”.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
—Luke 17:10

How often in trying to do more or other than is commanded, I fail to do what is commanded. Sufficient to do what is commanded.


Yehezkel Dror, a political science professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, recently related the Israeli establishment’s view: ”We’re all for democracy, but let us imagine democracy in Egypt or Jordan. Will it strengthen their peace with Israel?” Dror and his colleagues have concluded that the answer to this question is a clear “No!” That explains why Newsweek characterized the reputation of Natan Sharansky—George W. Bush’s favorite author and the prophet of Middle Eastern democracy—in Israel as that of a “scorned idealist.”

“I’m very frustrated,” Sharansky told the international edition of Newsweek. “My ideas are not taken seriously at all [in Israel].” Why? Because they are perceived as “too disconnected from the harsh Middle East reality,” Sharansky explained, noting that most Israelis believe that democracy in the Arab world could easily translate into even greater hostility toward Israel.

—Leon hadar, Bad For You Too? How the Iraq War disappointed Israel, The American Conservative


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday, November 6, 2005

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
—Matthew 25:9

The wise are not thinking of themselves but of the bridegroom. There must be light throughout the marriage feast. Dividing the oil might prevent that. But behold the bridegroom cometh, and there is no oil to buy at midnight. Better to greet him with no oil than to go away. If you are foolish enough to bring no oil, at least be present with the others. Do not let the door be shut and you outside.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday, November 4, 2005

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
—Luke 16:8

This is followed by:

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
—Luke 16:9

And then:

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
—Luke 16:10–13

And finally:

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
—Luke 16:14–15

Is this a discourse or a collection of sayings? If the former, then is the rich man’s property of Mammon or of God? By reducing all the debtors’ bills, does not the unjust steward waste even more of his lord’s wealth? Yet the lord commends him and does not seek to punish him.

Let us say that the rich man is God, his property is Mammon, and I am the unjust steward (I have wasted God’s goods, I cannot dig, and to beg I am ashamed). God’s property is the least. I serve God, not his property. I am wise to make friends with the debtors, by reducing their debts to God. God approves of being cheated this way.

God does not approve of my wasting his property. I must be faithful in whatever of it is entrusted to me, and despise and hate it if it becomes my master. It is to make friends with; in itself it will fail. If I am faithful in this trust, then I shall be entrusted with true riches. If I love God’s property and not God and his debtors, I may be esteemed among men, but an abomination in the sight of God.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Olivia is taking 1st yr Latin at AHN. The classical Latin is appropriate for high school. All parochial schools should teach Ecclesiastical Latin, beginning with prayers and the Mass, which should be celebrated in Latin. Chant and then polyphony should be taught and sung at Masses and school events. By 8th grade the student should be fluent in English, Ecclesiastical Latin, and a foreign language, and be able to sing and to draw. Add math and throw away all the other subjects, including religion. Assumed is that English, Latin, and the foreign language include something of the literature and the culture (in Ecclesiastical Latin, there will be lots of religion), in drawing there will be observation of nature, in math there will be examples from the physical and social sciences, as well as from “life”, and in music the pipe organ will be heard. If the Church were serious about vocations, some such course of study would be mandated.


In today’s Gospel you speak against statistical living. I think you do not imply that the ninety-nine are righteous or that the nine are not lost; rather, we who love you know that we are not righteous and that without you we are lost. We turn to you and are loved by you and the angels of God.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

All Souls Day 2005

“You are all brothers!” “I got mine, you get yours.” After some days of happy contemplation, contrasting voices make me consider taking up writing again, so as to better hear your voice.

Do not believe you are elevated above others because of your office: “You are all brothers!” The common ground we share in God counts for more than the distinctions in offices and honors: “You have one Father, who is in heaven.” Great and small, famous and unknown: we are all children of the one Father.

He who does not forget this will remain simple and modest even in the highest positions. He will understand, above all, that there is only One who is truly great, before whom we are all small, before whom all our differences, which we consider so important, are trivial.

He who keeps this in his heart will not exploit a high office for himself but will view it as a position of service.

—Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, from Schönborn, My Jesus: Encountering Christ in the Gospel (Ignatius Press 2005)

I suspect that history, including great historical novelists of the future, will look back and see that many of our elites simply decided to enjoy their lives while they waited for the next chapter of trouble. And that they consciously, or unconsciously, took grim comfort in this thought: I got mine. Which is what the separate peace comes down to, “I got mine, you get yours.”

You're a lobbyist or a senator or a cabinet chief, you're an editor at a paper or a green-room schmoozer, you're a doctor or lawyer or Indian chief, and you're making your life a little fortress. That's what I think a lot of the elites are up to.

—Peggy Noonan, A Separate Peace: America is in trouble—and our elites are merely resigned

The elites do not listen to cardinals, but one wishes that the cardinal spoke with more power.


History is story first and last. We owe the distorted conception in the first place to the French Annales dogma: plus d’histoire évenementielle. History without events is Hamlet without either the prince or the rest of the cast.
—Jacques Barzun, Letter to the Editor, Academic Questions, Spring 2005, Vol. 18 Issue 2.

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Expect to suffer.

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You did not “opine”: you spoke what you heard.